Ahmad is one of five children from an Israeli Arab family in Nazareth. His parents have never been able to work because of mental health problems. His father once started a university course, but his health issues prevented from completing his degree. Ahmad grew up hearing about his father’s frustrated ambitions and decided at an early age that he would fulfil them and make his parents proud.
Ahmad always aimed to be top of his class at his high school and worked hard to stay there. Computers have always been his first love, so while other students in his year chose to study medicine, he chose Computer Science and won a place at the prestigious Hebrew University in Jerusalem. This has meant moving away from his family and living in student dorms, which he knew would not be easy for him or for his family, as he was the last of his siblings living at home.
Ahmad found a good job as an electrician and worked hard during the summer in the hope of earning enough to pay for his degree course and the costs of living in Jerusalem as a student.
However, the sum he was able to earn fell far short of what was needed. When he started university, he was told that it would not be acceptable for him to get a job while studying, because the first year course workload is too heavy for a student to manage while working. He could not turn to his parents or siblings for help, so he began to despair of his ambitions.
Moshal’s representatives at the Hebrew University heard about his plight and stepped in with a scholarship for Ahmad. They also provided him with a laptop computer, which is a necessity for his course that he could not afford. Moshal’s support has relieved him of his financial worries and enabled him to focus on successfully completing his degree. He hopes that his grades will remain high enough so that he can to go on to a second degree.
“I have some exciting ideas for new programs and applications and I dream of being a famous programmer one day”, explains Ahmad. “But first I think that I will need to achieve an MSc. in order to bring these ideas to fruition.” His ambitions make his parents proud – they never complain about his absence from home although they miss having his assistance.
Ahmad feels grateful to have the support of his surrogate Moshal family at the Hebrew University. “There are eight Moshal students on my Computer Science course and we all help one another. The Moshal scholars in the year above me have also given me helpful advice, and I look forward to being able to help younger students in the same way. From the Moshal workshops that I have attended, I have learned valuable study skills, time management, and also how not to get disheartened and frustrated when things get tough. I really appreciate all the amazing assistance that I have received and continue to receive, and I am working hard to make my parents and everyone at Moshal proud of me.”